The National Association of Yam Farmers, Processors and Marketers, has called on the Federal Government to upgrade Obada International Yam Market in Kishi, Oyo Sate, to boost farmers’ income locally and internationally.
The South West Chairman of the association, Mr Ayanbunmi Gbemileke, made the call on Friday in Kishi during the declaration of the yam market as an international market.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the declaration of Obada yam market as an international market is to create awareness to Nigerians and the people in the Diaspora that the market was no longer a local market.
Gbemileke said the Federal Government needed to provide social amenities such as good roads, toilets, water, among others in order to make the market standard and attract investors.
He said the association wanted the Federal Government to make the market a replica of Zaki Biam Yam Market in Benue State which was now an international market with all the facilities available.
Gbemileke said Obada Yam Market was bigger in size and had more patronage than Zaki Biam Yam Market that had been upgraded.
He said that the people of Kishi where Obada International Yam Market was located were predominantly yam farmers and at least 20 trailers loaded yam out of the market on a daily basis.
Gbemileke said that the upgrade of the market into international standard would improve farmers’ sales and bring investors that would export the commodity to other countries.
“This market will be of service to processors, marketers and exporters.
“The market has the potential to take a healthy share of a big international market estimated to worth over two billion dollars.
“Myself and other fellow members of the association look forward to taking a large chunk of this important market and I am glad we have in attendance off-takers from UK and U.S,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the Oyo State Chairman of the association, Adeniyi Gbemisade, said that Nigeria was the largest producer of yam in the world while Ghana on the other hand was the major exporter of yam.
Gbemisade said that it was Nigeria’s yam from Kishi that was being repackaged as Ghana’s yam and exported to other countries.
He said that the challenges of the yam farmers in Kishi were bad roads, low information on the market potential, lack of incentives, among others.
Gbemisade called on the Federal and State Governments to provide solution to the above problem and as well provide modern method of yam storage in the market.
In his contribution, Dr Ayobami Omotoso, President Chartered Institute of Export and Commodity Brokers of Nigeria (CIECOBON), said that they had written to Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on how to train farmers on exportation of good yam varieties and packaging.
“We urge the Federal Government to assist us in making the dream of Obada International Yam Market a reality,’’ Omotoso said.
The Traditional Ruler of Kishi land, Oba Moshood Aweda, urged the people of the market to continue to be peaceful and united.
Aweda also urged the yam farmers to continue with the production of quality yam produce that would be acceptable both locally and internationally.
Dignitaries present at the occasion includes Caretaker Chairman of Irepo Local Government Area (LGA), Suleiman Adediran, Prof. Francis Adekayode, Representative of NEPC, Oyo State, Mrs Bolanle Emmanuel and representative of off-takers from Canada and Toronto. (NAN)